Chapter I. Getting Bluefish

1. Choosing a Version
1.1. How and When Updates are Released
1.2. Operating Systems Supported by Bluefish
2. Latest Stable Version
3. Latest Snapshot Version
4. Latest Developmental Version

1. Choosing a Version

Currently, four versions of bluefish are available:

  • The GTK1-version (v0.7) is deprecated and no longer updated, but is the choice for those of you still running GTK1.

  • The latest GTK2-version (v1.0.5) is the version of choice for most users, and is regarded as stable enough for daily use.

  • The latest development snapshot is always one step further than the latest stable release. In it, you will find some new features, bug fixes, and a prettier GUI. The catch is that it may have unfinished or buggy features. Try this if you want to see new features or are bothered by a bug in the latest stable release.

  • CVS is the bleeding edge of Bluefish development. You may find that the CVS version has several bug fixes and enhancements, however, it may also contain new, inadvertent bugs. You will also need the CVS version if you want to contribute a patch. Although the CVS version may be unusable for short periods of time, it is often stable enough for daily use.


    The CVS version comes with a compilation flag --enable-unstable, which allows you to install it concurrently with another version of bluefish, either the GTK2 one, or the snapshot one, or the 'normal' CVS one. It introduces supplementary functionalities. When this flag is used, bluefish is installed under the name of bluefish-unstable, vs. bluefish for any other version. This flag is enabled by default.

If you want the latest and greatest, read Section 4, “Latest Developmental Version” below or Section 3, “Latest Snapshot Version” if you do not want to install CVS. If you simply want to use Bluefish, read Section 2, “Latest Stable Version” for how to get the latest stable package for your system.

1.1. How and When Updates are Released

Due to the small number of volunteer developers, the progression of Bluefish's development often fluctuates. For this reason, a long time may pass between each release. After all, the developers volunteer their time and effort because they actually want to use Bluefish :-)

Consequently the current CVS or CVS snapshots may be what you want to use. We do try to keep the CVS version usable at any time (actually, the CVS version is used by most of the development team on a daily basis).

1.2. Operating Systems Supported by Bluefish

Bluefish has been reported to work on a number of systems. The Bluefish team mainly support these platforms:

  • Mandrake Linux

  • Red Hat Linux

  • Fedora Core

  • Debian Linux (and derivatives)

  • FreeBSD

Actually, any GNU/Linux distribution with GTK2 is fine and many distributions include Bluefish. In fact, Bluefish will likely work quite well on any POSIX compatible OS where GTK2 is available. Bluefish has been reported to work on the following:

  • NetBSD - distributed in pkgsrc

  • OpenBSD - available through their ports system

  • SGI IRIX - see

  • Mac OS X via Fink or Darwin Ports.

  • Sun Solaris

  • Tru64

  • AIX

  • HP-UX

  • Win32-cygwin - with a few nags.